Newtown News of Interest
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Lower Makefield to Sell Township's Sewer System to Pay Down Golf Course Debt, etc.

Lower Makefield to Sell Township's Sewer System to Pay Down Golf Course Debt, etc. | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

After a five hour meeting on August 14 that lasted into the early morning hours of August 15, the board of supervisors voted 3 to 1 to sell the township’s aging sewer system to Aqua Pennsylvania for $53 million.

 

The decision comes after nearly two years of investigation and exploration on whether the township should sell its sewer conveyance system, which services 11,800 customers in the township, and to exit the sewer business as expenses mount from the aging, unmaintained system.

 

Chairman Fred Weiss joined supervisors Suzanne Blundi and James McCartney in voting to sell the system. Supervisor John Lewis opposed the sale and Supervisor Dan Grenier abstained from the vote.

Monthly rates are projected to be $70.97 through 2024 before rising to $86 in 2025 and $96 in 2028.

 

Supervisor Lewis argued strongly against selling the system, warning the board, “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. This is a public asset. Once you sell it, you will never get it back.

 

“If you sell this to a private entity the only check on them is the PUC,” said Lewis. “I frankly don’t want to deal with another PUC-regulated entity where we have no power. I don’t want people coming to me in 10 years and saying we’re being gouged with sewer rates.

 

“I am profoundly disturbed by this motion,” he continued. “I believe this is singularly the worst public policy decision this board has made in the last 30 years. The last decision this bad was a decision to use eminent domain to acquire the golf course.

 

“This is a horrible decision - a wretched decision. I’m profoundly disappointed that the township would make this decision,” said Lewis. “I’m telling you that five or 10 years from now you will regret this decision.”

 

The township, which has until next year to designate the proceeds from the sale, will likely use the money to stabilize the township’s financial health, pay down its sewer and golf course debt and bolster its fund balance in order to restore the township's bond rating.

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Newtown News of Interest
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